I've done a lot of research on this today and I'm scared my bird has cancer. I never noticed specifically when the change happened but it seems sudden as one day his cere was pink and another day I noticed it had turned a little brown. I noticed this probably late in June. I paid no mind as I always thought pink was for young males and as they aged, it would darken up a bit towards blue and his behavior didn't change in the slightest. He is about 5 years old.
Today I randomly had a thought to look into it and search my phone to pin point when it happened through photos and see if I can find a cause. I found a photo from March and one from June and his cere looks pink like it always did.
(I tried to embed photos but didn't show up. Possibly too large.)
This pic is from early July. It's the best pic I have of his cere from this time.
I am pretty sure the change happened in July or late June given the photo dates. Below are pics of him today (he is starting to molt so that's why he has missing feathers on his face) and I don't think there is a difference between him today and him in July but I wish I had taken more pictures as I started to monitor it more since July to make sure it didn't get worse.
Like I said above, his behavior has not changed at all but I read all sorts of things today about cancer being pretty common in parakeets and cere color change for an adult male is more often than not, related to cancer. However, all of the images I saw online of color change did not look like this and I could not find any images that show this browning on the bottom of the cere.
Last month, I moved 8 hours away for college and this was their (Bert, pictured above, and Ernie) first long car ride in the time I've had them. (5 and 3.5 years). I was worried how they would handle the trip, especially with the road being pretty bumpy for the last 3 hours, but they fared perfectly well. Ernie was getting visibly tired when we were two hours out still, trying to sleep but bumps kept him awake while Bert was just being Bert; talking to his mirror, eating some food, playing with some toys, the whole ride. So with that in mind, I have a hard time thinking he is ill and is covering it up well because that was a very exhausting trip and he took it just as well, if not better than Ernie who is, as far as I can tell, very healthy.
Now I know I should be going to the vet or should have gone immediately, but I am living off student loans at the moment, eating rice and beans with a very strict budget. I have maybe $100 to $200 of wiggle room until January but I am starting to get really worried. Does anyone have any similar experience or perhaps some sort of possible explanation? Any other possible signs I should be looking for?
I appreciate any input.